Good Zeal

A puddle of glory

Things have been a soggy mess around the monastery lately. For weeks, we’ve had rain, rain, and more rain. The ground is staying far too wet for completion of the drive to the covered entrance of the new Retreat Center meeting rooms. Scouting trips to plan the placement of new trees require rain boots and umbrellas. Smears of mud make their way far indoors, well beyond the dampened door mats.

But somehow all this mess gives me hope, especially in light of the Transfiguration narrative which we heard in yesterday’s Gospel reading. The puddle and muddle of my own life – sometimes as messy as mud, sometimes as tired as water collapsing into a puddle, sometimes like boot-prints tracked onto clean carpet – is ever in need of transformation in Christ. The puddles and muddles can be places in which we encounter His transfiguring presence.

The work of God is often hidden, as if in a cloud, and so we may not be aware on an experiential level of our on-going transformation into the likeness of Christ. Or even if we are aware, the mystery of God’s presence and action may simply render us silent, like the apostles on the mountain, or like Abraham looking at the numberless numbered stars and falling into the silence of obedience and faith.

More rain is expected tonight. Puddles will form. Rivulets will flow. Yet in the midst of the clouds, the glory of the Lord still shines forth. And it is good that we are here, standing in a puddle of glory on the mountain of transfiguration.

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